Moved Into Our Tiny House

Discuss non-crawler related issues here (keep it sane, please)
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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:16 pm

townlineterry wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:07 pm
I am with you Cuttingedge. Saw from the small end, with my mill I can raise the log to compensate for taper. You want to end up sawing parallel to the heart because the center of the log has poorest quality wood, you want to keep that low grade lumber in as few boards as possible. By turning 180 after the first cut you eliminate 50% of the edging you would do if you only turn the log 90 degrees. Also once you have your cant squared up do not just saw from the top down. You need to flip it 180 a few times so you are working towards the center of the cant gradually from each side. This releases the stress of cant evenly to eliminate bowing.

Another mistake people make is to keep sawing with a dull blade. That slows down production, produces wavy lumber and trashes the blade. When the blade starts to show signs of dulling put on a sharp blade, don't push it. A sawmill blade is like a chainsaw, when you sharpen it you want to really just polish it not grind it.

And pay attention to blade tension (on band mills). Tension is critical to saw accurate lumber and blade life, too much or too little will destroy the blade.

Terry
Hey thanks very much. I did not know about the flipping it thing once it is in a cant. I had some bowing and wondered as to why. That makes a lot of sense.

One thing I noticed when my friend saws lumber is, with so many random widths on his lumber, then re-piling the wood onto the mill, he is not really getting the best widths on his boards, he is averaging out the widths. He might leave a lot of bark on some boards, then others cut some pretty good clear wood out all because he is trying to edge all at once. I tried to explain to him that you will only get x amount of clear lumber from a log by measuring a log on the small end, inside the bark. I am not a scaler, but cut enough logs to know that. That is why the log buyers buy logs that way!

By the way, on my homemade mill, I too have an adjuster to compensate for the taper of the log. I used a sissoe jack used for cars that is welded to the frame of the saw. It is nowhere near as good as your all hydraulic one, bu a few cranks of a handle and it lifts the small end of the log up enough so I can saw just the bark and not cut just bark on one end, then deeply into wood on the other.
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

townlineterry
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by townlineterry » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:37 pm

Another thing, almost forgot about. Cleaning and lubing the blade. My mill had gravity feed system, they recommended using water and dish soap. It never worked right and I took it off. I use a spray bottle with bar oil and kerosene or diesel mixed 50/50. Spray it on both sides of the blade occasionally, just enough to clean the sap. Seems to help prolong blade life.

Terry

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:15 am

I never have run cutting fluid so maybe I should start? :-)

I will be honest with you though, no one else here does either, though I am not sure why. Even the custom sawmillers I have had come over the years never have used lubrication on the blade even when cutting resinous woods like White Pine, Spruce or Cedar.

I am moving on to trim though very soon, and have a ton of trim work to do in this house. I piled up a bunch of logs that were not quite good enough for the commercial log yards to buy, so I have a ton of White Pine Logs to saw into boards (1x4's) for that trim. It is amazing what commercial sawmills will not take for logs that make perfectly suitable lumber with personal sawmills.

All the framing, sheathing, siding, and trim for this house renovation (though granted it is a Tiny House) all came from wood that commercial sawmills would not take. I rounded up the logs and it was a good 5000 board feet or more that would have just rotted on the landing. Here is a photo of those "scrounged" logs as I called them. I am not saying they are the best logs ever, they aren't, but it is better then letting them rot!

Image
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:24 am

Please note though Terry that I would NEVER expect a custom sawmiller to cut this sort of wood. Myself, I hate waste, and being retired now, I have the time to work through less than stellar logs.

But when I had custom sawmillers come here, everyone said they would saw for me anytime! That is because I always had nice big logs. Not massive ones they could not handle, but no fence posts either! Then I always piled the logs no greater then 4 feet high that way they would not get crushed if they hand-rolled the logs onto the log loader part of the mill. This was level or slightly uphill from the mill so gravity would work for them and not against them. Obviously all the logs were in one pile so they only had to set up the mill once. I even left my tractor there so they could push away any sawdust, or move logs with the log trailer.

I have always found, when you make things easier for the next person, even if it means more work for yourself, the people following you will be more apt to show up when you call because they know their job is going to be easier.

I am sure you got some stories of nightmare portable sawmilling!
I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

townlineterry
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by townlineterry » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:08 pm

The pitch build up slows down your feed rate, affects the sawing quality and causes the blade to run hot. Try using a blade lube, I'm sure you will be happy with the result. I agree a lot wasted wood by leaving the small logs in the woods, but there is a reason big mills don't want them. It just costs more to produce a board foot of lumber from say a 12" log than a 24" and quality decreases the closer you get to the heart. Best quality lumber comes from the outside of the log.

A lot of logs here are sold on the Dolye scale which purposely under scales smaller logs. Lot of people think it is set up that way to rip them off. Really it is to compensate for increased production cost of smaller logs.

I usually charge so many cents a board foot to saw, unless there are a lot of small logs, then I charge by the hour. The most chilling words a portable sawyer a can hear is, " you can get a couple of 2x4s out of it". as they drag up some little twisted thing that is one step above a branch. So you spend 10 minutes screwing around to make $1 for couple of 2x4s that you know are going to warp.

A big part of portable sawing is knowing when to say no.

Worst experience I had sawing was this jerk who measured thickness of every board and complained that they were not each exactly the same. He did could accept the idea that it was rough cut lumber, he wanted what you get from Home Depot. Then I would start a cut, blade in the log and he is telling me to stop because he wants it cut a different way. Yelled at my son, who was helping because he wasn't stacking the boards exactly straight. Then complained that the 2" lumber should only be half as much as the 1". Argued about amount of lumber we sawed, his scale was less the mine, go figure. Two years later he called me up to saw again, nobody else would work for him, but I had to wash the cat that day.

Terry

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CuttingEdge
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Re: Moved Into Our Tiny House

Post by CuttingEdge » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:12 pm

Here, the going rate is 18 cents a board foot for softwood, then 21 cents a board foot for hardwood, minimum is 1500 board feet. In other words, if a person has 1200 board feet, they are getting charged for 1500 board feet. Of course if it is over that, then it is whatever the board footage is. If a guy has to go a long ways from home, or must stay for days to get all the wood sawn, there is a charge for that, but it all depends.

I have always had my own sawmills whether it be a rotary, bandsaw or chainsaw mill, it was just when I worked I did not have the time to fuss with sawing lumber. I only had 1-1/2 days a week to get everything done I had to, (I go to church) so I would call a custom sawmiller when the wood was out, that way they converted logs to boards during the week when I was working. But I never sawed for quality like you did. I just needed it to make boards for barns, houses, flooring, etc. If a board was messed up, I would just grab a different one.

My biggest issue was getting the wood dry. I had a nice solar kiln for many years, but even then it was tough duplicating what they had at the lumber yard. I could go on forever about issues, but will just say, there is a lot of work making a log into a quality board that goes under appreciated. Equally though, I have seen a lot of crap at lumber yards that were not half as good as my "rough" sawn lumber.

In 2015 I was able to build a sheep barn, 30 x 48 feet out of Eastern Hemlock out of 15 trees, (45 logs) and 3480 bd ft. The custom saw bill was only $630, and total cost with new steel roofing was $4450. That is pretty hard to beat. Granted the concrete slab was already poured, but still it shows how using your own lumber can really keep costs down.

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I have no intention of traveling to my grave in a well manicured body; instead I am going to slide into heaven with a big power turn, totally wore out with busted knuckles, jump off my dozer loudly yelling, Woo Hoo, another Shepard has just arrived!

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